How much should you practice

Discussion in 'Hunter (HFT) & Field Target (FT)' started by Phil Kennett, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant post from Dan. Well done and thank you.

    I'd agree with not swapping kit to look for improved scores. Get your kit decent ... get it fitting you ... stick with it.

    Practice has to be about knowing your game. What are you good at? What are you weak at? Practice a very short period at what you are good at but spend most time working on improving what you are weak at.

    That's the key ... working at improving. So ... not just practising being weak at something and getting more frustrated at it. So look at better shooters ... what do they do differently? Ask them to take a quick look at you ... what are you doing differently?

    You can do loads of practice without any pellets.

    A lot of people will have issues with trigger control and release and follow through. Get in your position and go through breathing exercises. Try and hold your cross hair on the aim point. This can be a dot on a piece of paper in your garden. The gun need not be even cocked. Then practice squeezing back your trigger. Note what is happening with the cross. Is is moving as you squeeze the trigger? Squeeze the trigger back through to the first stage and then squeeze through the release point and follow through ( in line with how ever you do your breathing ). What's happening with that cross? Is it staying solid on aimpoint? Is it moving?

    If it's moving then try and find out why. Try noting if your finger is pulling the trigger straight back or is it being pulled slightly to the side? Try experimenting with different finger/hand positions until you are completing the trigger release and follow through and the cross is staying on aimpoint.

    If the cross is moving even before you move your trigger finger then try and find out why. Try experimenting with your position. Again ... look at better shooters. Ask them to take a look at you. Read up on the net on basic positions.

    Remember ... you must have your body and rifle in a position so the cross hair sits naturally on aimpoint for that position. If you were to relax your body and just breathe then the cross hairs should naturally sit on aimpoint. If they do then your body and rifle are in the right position. DO NOT try and adjust the rifle onto aimpoint and leave the body where it is. You MUST move the body so that the rifle is naturally on aimpoint. So adjust the body ... not the rifle.

    You can do that for all three positions ... prone, kneel, stand ... and all variations that you may find on a course. So prone on floor and up peg etc.

    You can do all that at home without any pellets.

    When you are on the range and shooting pellets I would make sure you start at distances that you are capable of noticing any improvements. So don't just shoot at 45 yards if your present level means you aren't cloverleafing at that range. It's pointless and confusing and frustrating. So start at whatever range ... say 30 yards. Work on technique at that range until you are cloverleafing at that range. Then move the range out slightly.

    If possible it may be best to try and do some basic technique training indoors with no wind. That way you know misses are to do with technique and not wind estimation error. Once you are happy with basic technique then please do practice in wind ... and wind at all angles.

    Just enjoy. If you start to feel frustrated or tense around the shoulders and head then stop. Take a break. Put the rifle down. Go and chat nonsense to a friend if they are there ... or even better ... just wander around the wood and see all the nature going on around you. You are just there enjoying yourself with your air rifle. It's not a race. It doesn't matter if your scores take 6 months to improve or 3 years. It doesn't really matter if they improve or not. The main thing is you are relaxing and enjoying yourself.

    Do not ask or expect that you be any better than you actually are at that moment.

    Let progress come at it's own pace. It will come.

    Good luck.
     
  2. madplinker

    madplinker Active Member

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    I also would say good advice from Dan too.
    Remember get comfortable how your kit works .
    I.e. Pcp what best fill pressure also most important pellet barrel relationship.
    You can have a two grand rifle but if pellets are not suited to barrel you will not get best results. Generally a good batch of Jsb will work in most barrels.
    Scope trust the blurr most scopes are not clear from 8 to 45 yards . Unless the magnification is low say 7 most shoot with 10 mag.
    Know your scope burr sight picture aimpionts on reticule read about Parallax error etc also read about rifle cant.
    Practice in all conditions make notes i.e. wind was 10 to 20 mph how much wind drift did it take at a 90 degree angle or full wind value etc.
    Get the basics right first head position scope alignment cant your kit fits you properly and using pellets that work well in your rifle and practice positionals . Feel more confidence has a few top shots said to me do your homework i.e. learn your kit inside out also learn things like parallax error through reading and what to look out for. Also find a good ranging methods.
     
  3. Ian Ree

    Ian Ree New Member

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    It's not all about practising for me it's about getting out there, shooting some pellets and having some fun. I know we all want to improve but you have to enjoy it aswell, don't put too much pressure on yourself as I shoot better on a Saturday having a bit of fun than I do on a Sunday morning in a competition ;)
     
  4. Darron

    Darron Dwarf Slayer

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    Yes Bobby scores little very often lol
     
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  5. nemesis

    nemesis 55yrd standing expert, or was it 8 or 9?

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    5hrs a week consisting of 3 x round the course once standing, followed by 100 turkeys on silhouette's.
    Now that's priceless :D
    Dee do doe dow'nt dee doe.
     
  6. Evo

    Evo Scouser by Birth mfta shooter by choice

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    eh, dee dont do dat do dee doe, well not yet anyway lol
     
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  7. Phil Kennett

    Phil Kennett Active Member

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    Yep, the way forward I
    Another excellent post thanks
     
  8. Phil Kennett

    Phil Kennett Active Member

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    thanks, some excellent feedback in this thread
     
  9. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

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    Building on what Squires said about trigger control, this is the single most neglected aspect of accurate shooting.
    Nine times out of ten if you get a miss even though you’re sure everything was good is down to a poor trigger release.
    I notice it myself, especially a stress shot like a mini-reducer, rewind your shooting sequence and I bet you’ve bounced the trigger instead of pulling through and holding.

    Spending just a few minutes every day just dry-firing but concentrating on breath control, trigger release and follow through will improve your consistency more than blatting away half a tin on the zero range.

    I’ve reduced the trigger travel on my rifle post release to about 2mm as I found I really didn’t like the over travel, but your mileage might be different.
     
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  10. Phil Kennett

    Phil Kennett Active Member

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    Thanks Colin useful info
     
  11. Darron

    Darron Dwarf Slayer

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    Practice what your weak at. If standers are an issue for you but you hit plenty off the bag or prone then why practice off the bag? Sounds like common sense but we all hate practicing what we’re weakest at.
     
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  12. Bill Fowler

    Bill Fowler Member

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    I think you've hit the nail on the head Darron as soon as I get to the club I go for the sitting position cos I find it more in my comfort zone whereas I don't do much standing at all.
     
  13. miketowler

    miketowler Active Member

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    It boils down to the harder you try the worse you’ll get and that makes you try harder and you get even worse on and on, I can put pellet on pellet at home but as soon as I have to do it for real I’m just go to pot? That’s my excuse
     
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  14. Dale

    Dale Active Member

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    Totally agree with this.
     
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  15. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

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    Very true, putting yourself under stress in a competition is the best way to guarantee a poor score.
    Unfortunately the only way to get through this is to shoot more competitions so that you get used to the stress and can manage it better.

    Of course if you have the confidence and talent to know that the trophy is yours before you even fire the first shot then all the better, but then there are only a handful of FT shooters in the World who can back this up with results.
     
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  16. Where's Molly

    Where's Molly Active Member

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    Don't overdo it .....I've seen many a top shot do this...then they get fed up/bored with shooting and give up...always try to leave the range with the hunger to get back to it....too much shooting can make you stale and lose the "edge" the will to keep going out and can also make you complacent. Treat every shot as though it counts...if your too tired it will work against you
     
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  17. Phil Kennett

    Phil Kennett Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice, it has surprised me how tiring shooting can be.
     
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  18. Phil Kennett

    Phil Kennett Active Member

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    Sound advice thanks
     
  19. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

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    As a qualified coach I will say that as Dan says it's completely individual to the person as to what to work on and for how long. There's a method to get to that plan but it's not really something that can be approached via the internet and will take time to achieve. For most people time and money are not infinite resources and vary to quite some degree as well. It is also orientated around what you wish to achieve, which isn't the same for everyone.

    New shooters tend to focus on the score. In competitions which vary in weather and in difficulty it's easy to miss that scores may go down even though you shot better (ie carried out the shooting process better) because there are things that were outside of your control that affected you. Where you finish is also similar, if you're in a tough field you may shoot better but come lower than if you're in an easier field.

    So try (and it's not easy) to think about the shooting process and look at things you can control and work on them.

    Coaching in this sport is quite rare, but there might be a club instructor around that could be worth a word with who can maybe suggest things you might have overlooked. There's a tonne of advice on the internet but it does require filtering which gets better with experience and research. A coach can guide you through this with their experience.

    Physical fitness is often overlooked, but it's not escaping many that the top shots are often not the same shape that the top shots were 10-15 years ago. I wouldn't consider hitting the gym is critical but being fitter isn't a bad thing and can be done with 90 mins a week light exercise.

    Probably the simplest advice I'd say is pick the low hanging fruit, what improves your shooting for the least amount of effort... and take the negatives and make them positives. The fact that you're looking for help and advice means you have motivation, and that is the no.1 fuel for improvement because without it you'll stop and do something else.
     
  20. Bill Fowler

    Bill Fowler Member

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    Well said.
     

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